From a Certain Point of View is a short story anthology media tie-in to the Star Wars universe, released in October 2017 by Del Rey. To celebrate 40 years of Star Wars, the anthology contains 40 stories that take place in or around the events of the original Star Wars film released in 1977, but from the point of view from a supporting character. All of the author’s proceeds for the book go to the charity First Book that provides books, teaching materials, and other essentials to educators and organizations serving children in need.
Another great year for Clarkesworld, lots of great stories by authors both familiar and new. Clarkesworld remains the most prolific of the podcasts I listen to, clocking in at 82 stories for the year of 2017, and with a much higher wordcount limit than most of the others, that comes to significantly more words. Neil Clarke continues as editor, and Kate Baker continues to produce, host, and narrate most of the episodes of the podcast.
They continue to publish monthly stories published from Chinese through a relationship with StoryCom, which have been among many of my favorites.
GlitterShip is a science fiction and fantasy podcast devoted to publishing audio versions of LGBTQ stories from authors of all backgrounds. Glittership was originally funded by a Kickstarter campaign in 2015, which blew past its base goal and reached several stretch goals beyond that increased the frequency of episodes as well as funding original episodes to be mixed in with the reprints.
Glittership is published, edited, and produced by Keffy R.M. Kehrli. If you follow Diabolical Plots and you recognize Keffy’s name, he’s also a writer whose stories have featured multiple times on previous Best Of podcast lists right here.
Another great year for Clarkesworld, lots of great stories by authors both familiar and new. Clarkesworld remains the most prolific of the podcasts I listen to, clocking in at 83 stories for the year of 2016, and with a much higher wordcount limit than most of the others, that comes to significantly more words. Neil Clarke continues as editor, and Kate Baker continues to produce, host, and narrate most of the episodes of the podcast.
They continue to publish monthly stories published from Chinese through a relationship with StoryCom. This has had a wonderful result, as I’ve very much enjoyed finding new Chinese authors in translation through Clarkesworld, and you can clearly see the effect on this list.
All of the stories that are eligible for the Nebulas and Hugos are marked with an asterisk (*) if they are Clarkesworld originals, or a double-asterisk (**) if they were first published elsewhere in 2016 and then reprinted in Clarkesworld.
“Folding Beijing” is one of the Hugo Finalists for the novelette category this year. It was published by Uncanny Magazine, a magazine that debuted in 2015, and you can read it here in its entirety.
In the future, Beijing is not just one city, but three. The five million residents of First Space have the city for 24 hours at a time and have the most enviable prestigious jobs. The twenty-five million residents of Second Space have the city for 16 hours at a time and have jobs of middling prestige and power and pay. The fifty million residents of Third Space struggle to scrap out a living, and mostly spend their time sorting the recycling of the other two spaces. One of the three is active at a time, and during that time the residents of the other two sleep in a deep drugged sleep with their buildings folded up tightly underground and out of the way.
Clarkesworld Magazine has had an incredible year. As I write these lists I am considering my own Nebula and Hugo nomination ballots and I think that no less than 3 of my 5 picks might come from Clarkesworld. This year they’ve been publishing a monthly story translated from Chinese as part of an ongoing initiative to share more Chinese author’s works with the English reading fandom. These stories have been a wonderful change of pace, different in some ways from what I’m used to in works written in English, something new and fresh.
The magazine continues to be edited by Neil Clarke, published by Sean Wallace, and the podcast is hosted and most-often narrated by Kate Baker of the excellent voice.
It occurs to me 20 days into a 26 day Kickstarter campaign for the Long List anthology that I have not actually mentioned the Kickstarter campaign on my own website. It has been a crazy 20 days and so much has been happening this particular thing has been postponed while I was working on other factors related to the campaign. Well, better late than never, and with 6 days left in the campaign there is still some time for those who are interested to back the project to get their rewards and to help push toward the couple of remaining stretch goals.
You can read more detailed information on the Kickstarter page, but I’ll give a brief rundown here.
Less than a month ago, just before the Hugo Award voting deadline, I gave a preliminary review of the first 100 pages or so of the Hugo-nominated novel The Three Body Problem. I gave the partial review then to get it published before the Hugo deadline, but since then I’ve finished reading. This review will be pretty brief because I don’t want to spoil everything, and the truth about what exactly explains the weirdness that’s happened so far in the book takes a while to unroll.
I’ve been reading as fast as I can before the Hugo voting deadline on July 31st, but there’s been a bunch of things competing for my time (most recently the Welcome to Night Vale novel by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor) and so I haven’t been able to read as many of the nominees as I like. I am only part way through The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu, translated by Ken Liu, but since the Hugo voting deadline is almost here I wanted to give a partial review–I’ll give a complete review when I have had the time to finish the book.
The story starts in China in 1967, during the Cultural Revolution (a social-political movement started by Mao Zedong whose stated goal was to preserve the “true” Communist ideology from the corrupting influences of capitalist and traditional elements from society. Ye Zhetai is a physics professor at the time, trying to teach his students without coming under the ire of the movement, but in a debate about relativity he is struck dead. His daughter Ye Wenjie follows in his footsteps, becoming a physicist as well, and ends up being recruited for a top-secret research project.
Clarkesworld has been getting bigger and better. They’re publishing more stories than ever before and they’re good as ever, publishing more episodes than any of the other podcasts I listen to. Neil Clarke continues to edit and Kate Baker continues to host and usually narrate the podcast.